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A Brief Introduction to the Policy Issues

Privacy Has Multiple Dimensions
 Annoyance  Actuarial information  Willingness to pay  Personal character  Commercial exploitation of your
The economic factor is obvious in some of these, but not necessarily in all of them.

personal image

Alternate view: specific aspects
 Exposure of non-public, non-obvious facts

 Intrusion into one’s lifestyle & decision-


 Appropriation of likeness for commercial


Special Areas
 Medical

HIPAA Law enforcement Credit Bureaus [Private vs. state action]

 Legal
  

 Political (including voting)

 Willingness to pay (again)

 Some agreement that people in advanced  Privacy is culturally based  Privacy is linked to democratic values  Open nature of the Internet seems to be

industrialized countries want more privacy

raising public concern over privacy and security  Reminder: they are not the same thing

Two Very Different Approaches
 Government agency with enforcement

powers  Western Europe

 Private enforcement


A major question: Do you need to show (monetary) damages?

Five (?) waves in U.S. history

Bill of Rights – protection from search and seizure; home-based response by Brandeis

2. 1890s – Photography and newspapers; 3. 1930s – wiretapping; court orders needed

4. 1960-70s – computer databases
5. 1990s – Internet and linked files 6. (?) Post-9/11/2001 national security /

privacy trade-offs

Main Principles
 Maximize fairness

 Minimize intrusiveness
 Create expectation of confidentiality

 Reasonable mechanisms to authenticate,

enact, enforce, and (even) revise

Good Practices: The Specifics
 No secret record-keeping  An individual should have access to records

about him/her records

 Reasonable methods for correcting errors in

 Information should be used ONLY for the

purpose originally collected time, use & purpose

 Disclosures of information should specify the

Problem Areas
 Often no direct relationship between records

organization & individual subjects

 Wireless communications, VoIP, etc. change

the nature of electronic communications  and (maybe) the expectation of privacy

 Portability of files

The “laptop problem” at UCB

 Weak inherent security in … (your choice)

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